Midfielder Callum Guy admitted himself during pre-season that the frustration of last season’s knee injury had left him chomping at the bit, and his performances so far in this campaign have more than back up that claim.
Speaking about the excellent attitude shown once again on Tuesday night, when Guy left the warm-up early, having turned his ankle, Chris Beech said: “He turned it before the game, he came in early, had strapping.
“You can tell by body language, he didn’t look comfortable but assured me he was fit to play. What happened, because he did play very well, at half-time it stiffened up, and when you get more tired, like we do in anything we do, things hurt more.
“He couldn’t quite get it going again to the point of feeling more comfortable. As the game wore on, you could see him limping off the ball, I think it was the right thing to do to bring him off. We’ll see how he is today and see if he’s available on Saturday.”
And on the good form being shown by a midfielder who has the highest ball recovery stats in the division, he commented: “He’d never played League Two football until he came here.
“You don’t do that unless you’ve got something about you. He played for Blackpool, I think 16 or 17 games up to January time when we recruited him, and it was a bit of a surprise we got him.
“It’s important that we have that good relationship with clubs and know when they’re making moves to try and benefit their teams, if there’s a spillage from their areas of work that we can benefit from.”
“But I’d seen Callum play for Blackpool,” he continued. “I love the way he plays, he’s all-in in terms of trying to get the ball back and he’s got good passing ability. If there’s a criticism and challenge for him to get better at – because he can – it’s his shooting.
“If he scored more goals, added to that play, I very much doubt he’d be here. Whether he can get that or not we’ll see.”
“On his ball recoveries, I think he keeps picking them up off the cone on the side of the pitch, do they count?!” he joked. “ He’s reading play better, he’s fitter. It was very difficult for him because in the summer Neil Dalton’s going to Aberdeen, Dave Waldie lived in Lincoln, and was hard to connect with those people because of lockdown, and he’s had a knee operation.
“So I did things, got him a watt bike, his missus wasn’t happy, we stuck it in the kitchen in his house. He had a little toddler running round, and I told him to make sure she doesn’t put the washing on it! We got him out on the field when we could, it grew from that point in terms of his rehab and that’s showing now.”
On Brennan Dickenson and Omari Patrick, he told us: “Omari’s been out on the grass and it’s great to see him out there. He’s in front of Brennan because his injury wasn’t as bad, but they’re both progressing really well.
“It will be great to have both of them back. Brennan’s a really exciting, physical, powerful player with an unbelievable rocket shot of a left foot. But you’ve not really seen that. We’ll have to be patient when he’s back with us.
“Omari, you already know, and it’s great that he scored his goal. We just have to get him in rhythm, and I’m sure he’ll give us some more attacking attributes to consider. Some players are doing really well, but successful teams have generally been in a position where if the front three aren’t quite right, they swap them for the three on the bench, they come on and make it right.
“I tried our best to make sure we had that capability within our building, and it’s such a shame they’re not all available at the same time.
“With other knocks and bumps, my physio’s been on a two-day course so the phone’s been quieter and the Scottish accent hasn’t been as negative in those vibes, so great!”